Herrick Avenue in historic downtown Wellington, Ohio has an important history that inspired the most iconic painting of our country- "The Spirit of '76." Archibald Willard was working in the Sawtelle Studio when he witnessed a drum and fife corps practicing in the town square, which later inspired the Spirit. Twenty years prior in 1858, the street witnessed the Oberlin-Wellington Slave Rescue and many believe this uprising of abolitionists fueled the beginning of the Civil War. A few summers ago, Main Street Wellington partnered with Farm and Home Hardware to re-paint a nearby Auto Parts business. A private citizen also funded more than a dozen paint grants to spruce up the downtown in honor of Wellington's Bicentennial in 2018. However, on the West end of Herrick, sits the last relic from Wellington's cheese making heyday. The word "CHEESE" at the top on several sides of building, is the former office space for Horr-Warner Cheese Company. It speaks to the industry that made Wellington back in the late 1800's. When our village had over 40 cheese making or storing facilities and shipped millions of cheese all over the world. Today, Herrick Avenue, has a small mixture of businesses, restaurants, and vacant spaces. Originally called Mechanic Street, there are plans to renovate a burned building that once housed Sawtelle, into Mechanic Street Brewing Co. If we win the grand prize, we will continue our "Paint the Town Proud" program by offering paint and supply grants to businesses to refresh their facades. We will also rent a lift to safely paint and repair the CHEESE signs. We would also like to add more signage that will celebrate the history behind Herrick Avenue, and help visitors find free public parking so they can stop and enjoy our local shops, restaurants, and events.